Surprise, surprise


Over on MQResource, I organized a secret pal type swap.  Members who signed up will send surprise packages to their assigned partner every other month for the next 6 months.  As organizer, I decided it was too hard to get involved personally (which I was OK with…I’m terrible about sending packages.  It’s a sickness.  I think it’s also genetic).  I sent out the assignments several weeks ago, and have been having fun watching as packages start to be arranged.

Some of our clever members even went so far as to create secret e-mail addresses for themselves, so they could secretly e-mail their partner.

You can imagine my surprise when I got an e-mail from someone who claimed to be MY secret partner.  What!  Wait a minute!  How did that happen?!?  I don’t even know who to suspect, and I’ll bet that a reader or 2 are laughing over their coffee as they read this.

I have to admit that I am not very good with surprises.  When I was 15, I planned a surprise party for one of my best friends, Elysa, and boy, was she every surprised.  We got her good.  Several months later it was my Sweet Sixteen.  I had very specific plans for my party.  It was going to be a sit down meal, we were going to use the good china — we were going to have Chicken Divan.  (Speaking of which, it’s been years since I’ve made that.  Must add swiss cheese and dry white wine to the next shopping list).

Fancy invitations, etc, etc, etc.  I had it all planned.

The day before my party, my mom made me help clean the house, and she suggested I go ahead and decorate and set the table.  She even talked me into making up the food so that we could just pop it into the oven the next day.  You do see where this is going, don’t you?

My boyfriend arrived to take me to the mall for the evening.  We got all the way to the mall when he had to make a phone call.  When he got off the phone he informed me that he had completely forgotten about a rehearsal he was supposed to have with his church choir director.  We had to turn around and go back home.

On the way, he missed the exit.

And then we had to stop at his house.  I might be making this up, but I think he took an extra long time inside his house, while I stewed in the car.  And I do mean stewed.  I was so angry at him, I was just miserable.  And he knew it.

And then he finally got me home.  Yup, you guessed it.   A surprise party.  I burst into tears when I opened the door and found all of my birthday party guests at my house.

Remember Elysa?  The girl I had surprised?  Well, it turns out that when I passed out my invitations, she followed along behind me and told all of the guests that she (and my mom) were moving my party up a day.

We ended up having a lovely time, but I felt so badly about how I’d treated the young man that had taken me on the wild goose chase around Southeastern Connecticut.  He was stalling for time.  The missed exit and everything — just stalling to give the other accomplices plenty of time to get everything ready.

The thing that kills me is that *I* still had to do all of the work for the party.  All of it.  I cleaned, I set the table, I helped cook.  Or at least, I think I did.  I might be misremembering, but it’s MY story, and was MY party and I’ll tell it how I want to.  Oh lordy, I even cried, didn’t I?  I feel a song coming on……sorry………everybody sing it with me!  LOL!

I have told my husband, and all of the rest of the family that if they EVER throw me a surprise party, I’ll kill them.  Hopefully, they’ve taken that to heart.  I can’t promise not to throw surprise parties, though.

So.  Back to my current surprise.  My first reaction was NO!  I don’t deserve this!  But after wrestling with myself, I decided to just have fun and say thank you.   When I got my e-mail from my secret pal, she asked for some information about myself and I mentioned an angel collection.

Today’s mail (well, FedEx) brought an amazing box.  The Angels pictured above were in it.  They are Willow Tree angels and are the Angels of Wonder, Harmony, Friendship, and Learning.  I suspected there was more meaning than just angels in those choices, and an e-mail from my secret pal this afternoon confirmed it.

Thank you, whoever you are, from the bottom of my heart.  The angels are beautiful, and while I’m not always very good with surprises, I look forward to the next 6 months and more fun surprises.



  1. Vicki W says:

    I’m with you, I HATE surprise parties. I don’t ever want one and I will never host one. A friend of ours hosted one for her husband on his 30th birthday. She had to take him on some convoluted trail so that he was totally POed when they arrived at the party house and he was ranting “I can’t believe that we are here on my birthday, I don’t even like these people!” The marguerita fountain calmed everyone’s nerves!

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